In this audio, Former Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Sketchley Sacika says President Edgar Lungu must not intimidate the Law Association of Zambia.
And Dr Sacika says the Head of State must fire his key staff that does not seem to understand the requirements of good governance.
Yesterday, President Lungu told the Law Association of Zambia to form a political party saying the association was abusing the profession.
“Where are the lawyers in this country?” asked President Lungu who was in the company of Press aide Amos Chanda at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport before departure for Swaziland.
“If the lawyers want to form a political party, let them go ahead and form a political party,” he continued “Let them not abuse the profession; because what they are saying is politics, you can see it’s politics. For me I challenge them to form a political party, but let them not abuse the profession.”
But in an interview today, Dr Sacika observed that there was nothing political about LAZ president Linda Kasonde’s statement.
“It is wrong to call upon Linda Kasonde and the Law Association of Zambia to form a political party simply because they have disagreed with the President on the declaration of the semi state of emergency. It is also wrong for the President to intimidate the Law Association of Zambia so that it does not carry out its functions under the law. The Law Association of Zambia has every right to challenge the declaration of the semi state of emergency in court if need be because the organisation exists for the purpose of protecting the law and the human rights of the people. If LAZ kept quiet over the declaration of the semi state of emergency, it would lose its legitimacy and credibility,” Dr Sacika said.
He said LAZ had always relied on constitutional provisions when commenting on political matters.
“Those statements are not political. Linda and the Law Association of Zambia were interpreting the law as it stands. The Law Association of Zambia knows its limits, it knows its mandate and to the best of my knowledge, they have never engaged in political discourse. Every time they have made a statement on a political matter, they have restricted themselves to the interpretation of the law and that is their mandate. If the Law Association of Zambia did not offer clarification on matters of law and if they did not contest government decisions from the point of view of the application of the law, then it would cease to have legitimacy. In other words, there would be no need to have the Law Association of Zambia. So the points which LAZ raised are matters of law and not political matters,” Dr Sacika said.
He also observed that President Lungu was too preoccupied with politics.
“The problem our President has is that he is looking at everything through the tinted glasses of politics. To him, everything is politics. He has no time to reflect on issues from a different angle. The semi state of emergency he has declared has got nothing to do with national security but is a ploy to legitimize the existence of a police state where political expression and intercourse are suppressed. President Lungu is so consumed with politics and dealing with his political opponents that he is making too many mistakes and allowing his party cadres to engage in criminal acts and harassment of innocent people. The politicization of the state has reached dangerous levels and is impacting negatively on the viability of the state. The economy is in doldrums and the other aspects of our lives are suffering because the President is preoccupied with politics,” Dr Sacika said.
And Dr Sacika advised President Lungu to fire his key personnel because they were a stumbling block to achieving the objectives of good governance.
“President Lungu should consider getting rid of the key personnel in his administration who are a stumbling block to achieving the objectives of good governance. People who have demonstrated inability to comprehend the requirements in our Constitution. It is wrong for the President to allow PF cadres to be involved in running the affairs of government in a multi party state. These people have not taken oath as public officers so their involvement in public affairs is not only illegal but also a matter of state security,” he said.
Dr Sacika also advised the Head of State to call of the Threatened State of Public Emergency to ease tension in the country.
“President Lungu took oath of office to defend the Constitution and the law but he is failing to recognize the rights of other citizens. His preoccupation is to protect his own political interests and the interests of his party members. He has become a partisan President and not a national President. Our country needs to be managed in a holistically and it is President Lungu’s responsibility to ensure that this is done,” said Dr Sacika.
“President Lungu should immediately diffuse the political tension in the country by calling off the semi state of emergency, restore the political and economic rights of the people, and engage in unconditional talks with all opposition political parties with the view that we are creating a national consensus on the way forward. Mwanawasa did this when the country was on its knees following his narrow victory in the 2001 elections. I think that President Lungu should do the same.”
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